3.6 million Australians stuck renting forever

Peter Terlato 20 September 2016

rent

Housing affordability remains a high hurdle for many Australian households.

Rising house prices are leading many Australians to dismiss the idea of home ownership, instead opting to rent property for the rest of their lives.

A finder.com.au survey of more than 2,000 Australians found that while the majority (57%) of Australians were already living in their own home, a substantial proportion (43%) were renting.

Despite modest gains in national weekly family incomes and moderate falls in average monthly loan repayments earlier this year, housing affordability across Australia remains burdensome.

The Real Estate Institute of Australia (REIA) found average median house prices rose 2.1% over the June quarter, approaching the $700,000 mark.

It's no wonder (47%) said they would consider renting for a lifetime if house prices keep rising. That equates to 3.6 million renters.

However, it's not all bad news for renters. Last quarter Australia's rental market softened, with median rents decreasing across the majority of capital cities.

Survey results found men (55%) are more open to the idea of renting for life than women (40%) and females are more likely (54%) to be saving money for a home deposit than their male counterparts (37%).

This isn't surprising, considering new research shows women are closing the gap on retirement funds.

There were also slightly more men "rentvesting" - renting while owning a property - than women (6%).

Breaking the results down state-by-state, Queensland (4.2%) has the highest proportion of rentvesters, followed by NSW (3.4%) and Victoria (2.4%).

Queenslanders are also the most content renters, with almost a quarter (24.6%) of renters considering renting for life. WA renters were least inclined (15.1%) to rent for life.

Residents of South Australia are the most prolific home owners (69.4%), followed by Tasmanians (63.9%).

NSW has the greatest proportion (21.1%) of renters saving for a home loan deposit.

When it comes to housing affordability, Gen Y has it in for Baby Boomers and vice versa.

Interestingly, more than three quarters of baby boomers (78%) believe they'll be renters for life, compared with more than half of Generation X (53%) and just a third of Generation Y (33%).

For many generations the great Australian dream has been to buy a home. But have times changed?

Whether you're saving for a deposit, taking out a home loan or renting for life, it's best to compare your options and make the most informed decision.

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Picture: Shutterstock

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